The primary problem with Snow White and the Huntsman is that it was released right on the heels of Mirror Mirror. True, a new version of Snow White has been made about once a decade since its debut in 1902, but how much of a call could there be for another one just a couple of months after the last one opened in theaters?
Secondly, while Mirror Mirror is a wholesome family film, this darker reinterpretation carefully courts the teen demographic by incorporating the popular vampire theme coupled with graphic violence. The film stars Kristen Stewart, of Twilight series fame, opposite Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor in the Marvel Comics series of movies.
Charlize Theron turns in the picture’s sole dynamic performance as Queen Ravenna, a vain villainess in constant need of reassurance that she’s still “the fairest of them all” from her magical mirror. Like a bloodsucking vampire, she preserves her “most beautiful” status by literally draining the youth out of all of her competitors.
The narcissistic queen keeps Snow White imprisoned in a dungeon with plans to suck the life out of her as soon as she comes of age. Somehow, the spunky girl escapes, taking refuge in the forest following a spectacular mountaintop plunge down a waterfall.
Meanwhile, back at the castle, the angry monarch dispatches the huntsman Eric to track down and slay Snow White. However, the widowed hunter shifts loyalties as soon as he meets her and realizes how evil Ravenna’s true nature is.
Directed by Rupert Sanders, Snow White and the Huntsman is an emotionally flat special effects filled film. Unfortunately, the movie fails to measure up to Mirror Mirror, despite the presence of Kristen Stewart.
A blasphemous revision of Snow White that is designed to exploit the popular vampire formula.
Very Good (**½). Rated PG-13 for intense violence and brief sensuality. Running time: 127 minutes. Distributor: Universal Pictures.